Text: Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi's letter to his brother-in-law PM Netanyahu

J4JPnews - October 25, 2010


By Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi

The latest revelations in the case of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard require an official, public call by the government of Israel for his immediate release.

In recent weeks two dramatic developments have occurred in the Pollard case:

1) Lawrence Korb, who was the deputy of the former US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger at the time of Pollard's arrest, wrote a (recently- published) letter to the President of the United States, Barak Obama. In his letter, Korb declares that the disproportionate sentence and harsh treatment which Pollard received have no precedent in the history of the United States and were a result of "an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger." This hatred induced Weinberger to provide false and distorted testimony to the American court -- testimony which he recanted before his death.

Korb who was close to Weinberger, states in his letter, that Pollard's disproportionate sentence (which he is currently serving now in his 25th year in unbearably harsh conditions) is grossly unfair and a travesty of justice. He ends his letter with a call to the president of the United States to correct the injustice without delay by releasing Jonathan Pollard.

2) Another dramatic development in this case occurred in an interview given by (former Minister)Rafi Eitan, who was Pollard's handler, to a Kol Yisrael Radio reporter, Aaron Vizner. In this interview, Rafi Eitan declared that there was a deal between Israel and the US by which Pollard would serve 10 years and then be released -- this today is the maximum sentence for espionage on behalf of an ally.

Rafi Eitan stated that the Americans abrogated the agreement and violated a clear commitment that had been made to the Government of Israel. He too supported Korb's assertion that Pollard's disproportionate sentence was obtained on the basis of false information that was provided to the court.

These two new developments point directly to the unequivocal conclusion: a great injustice has been done to Jonathan Pollard which must be rectified, at the very least, by his immediate release from prison.

In the face of these revelations, an official, public call by the government of Israel to the government of the United States for the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard is imperative. The Prime Minister must take direct and active responsibility for undertaking the contacts, in order to bring to a conclusion one of the most deplorable affairs that the State of Israel has ever known and to bring about Pollard's immediate release.

This (Pollard's immediate release) must be obtained from the United States as an outstanding debt for political, moral and humane reasons.

Politically - because Israel is a "friendly nation and an ally" (or at least the United States claims so) and clear agreements and solid commitments have been broken (including the presidential commitment which Clinton made to Netanyahu prior to signing the Wye Accords.)

Morally - because the judicial process was tainted by false and misleading testimony, which flowed from hostility and hatred towards Israel; because today it is clear that the severity of Pollard's sentence (life in prison), was the result of calculated disinformation.

Humanely - because Jonathan has paid a price far beyond the usual punishment for the offense that he committed; because he has languished in prison for 25 years, and his health has deteriorated drastically; because the United States continues to hold him in harsh conditions.

In light of all of these facts and information, the question urgently arises: why is Bibi silent?!

Where is the most basic responsibility of the State Israel towards a man who was an agent of the State and who contributed so much to its security?

I appeal to you Bibi, personally --and also as a citizen and a member of your own family - get up, say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done!

Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi

The author, Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, is a professor at Bar Ilan University and the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

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